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Gavi becomes Spain's youngest debutant ever

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Gavi is barely 17-years-old
Gavi is barely 17-years-old / FRANCK FIFE/GettyImages

Gavi has become Spain's youngest-ever debutant, after being named in the starting XI for his side's UEFA Nations League semi-final against Italy.

The midfielder recently broke into the Barcelona first team following an injury crisis, and has only made 10 senior appearances prior to being thrown in at the deep end at international level.

Aged just 17 years and 62 days, he is La Furia Roja's youngest-ever player, breaking the record previously held by Angel Zubieta - who first appeared for Spain all the way back in 1936.

Gavi's Barcelona teammate Ansu Fati, meanwhile, was handed his first cap when he was 17 years and 308 days old.

Spain manager Luis Enrique has had no problem trusting in youth previously. When he was just 18, Enrique started Pedri - who is absent from the current squad with injury - for every single one of his side's games during Euro 2020.

Speaking about Gavi just after he was called up, the former Barcelona manager said: "I have known Gavi for many years, he is one of the models of the Barca youth academy. I have no doubt about the performance he will give.

"He’s a pure midfielder, very much in the Barca style. He brings interesting things with the ball and without the ball."

Gavi is starting in midfield alongside a familiar face in clubmate Sergio Busquets, as well as Atletico Madrid's Koke. They playing in front of a back five of Unai Simon, Cesar Azpilicueta, Aymeric Laporte, Pau Torres and in-form Marcos Alonso.

Up front, Spain will be relying on Ferran Torres, Pablo Sarabia and Mikel Oyarzabal as they seek revenge for the Euro 2020 semi-final that Italy won on penalties.